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Research Paper University of York Discussion Papers in Economics 14/14

The intergenerational transmission of liberal professions: nepotism versus abilities


Publication date

Aug 2014


By using university administrative and survey data on Italian graduates, we analyse the transmission of liberal professions from fathers to children. We assess the effect of nepotism and family networking, separately from other transmission channels, on the probability of choosing a degree that gives access to liberal professions, of obtaining a licensing and of starting a liberal profession. The results suggest that the effect of nepotism and networking is irrelevant on the degree choice, modest on the success rate at the licensing exam, but large and significant on the probability to start a liberal profession.


Labour Market and Higher Education



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